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Bin Laden trained hitmen to kill Clinton

FORMER US president Bill Clinton said suspected terror

mastermind Osama bin Laden was conspiring to kill him and was

training hitmen for that purpose.

”And we know at the same time he was training people to kill me.

Which was fair enough – I was trying to get him,” Clinton told

Newsweek magazine in an interview.

The Saudi-born radical is blamed for masterminding the September

11 attacks on the United States as well as the 1998 US embassy

bombings in East Africa.

Clinton said that in 2000, US intelligence had

learned with a certain degree of accuracy where bin Laden would

spend the night.

But he said he had opted against a military strike against that

location to avoid civilian casualties.

”There were a very large number of women and children in that

compound and it’s almost like he was daring me to kill them,”

Clinton said. ”I felt it would hurt America’s interests if we

killed a lot of Afghani women and children and didn’t even get

him.”

The other option was to train commandos to go after him, the

former president said.

But he argued the US military could not get close to Afghanistan

”since we didn’t have any basing rights then, and we didn’t have

anything like the international support that existed after

September 11 for overthrowing the Taliban.” – Sapa-AFP

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